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Making tracks to be railway lorry driver for 44 years

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 05, 2014

  • Models of the Scammell Scarab with box trailer

  • An internal post envelope from the war years still in use in the late 60s in the post room at Curzon Street Station saying: Use me often, use me well: Send old Hitler right to *_____;

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I HAVE been very interested in the railway history stories and photographs in recent copies of The Bugle.

On leaving school in 1962. I went to the railway recruiting office in Queens Drive, Birmingham, and signed on. The Drive separated the two former Midland and L.N.W.R. stations which formed New Street Station. and where I signed on. After passing my medical, yes it really was like joining the army, I became a junior messenger in the goods offices at Curzon Street Station, working in the railway's internal post department. At the age of 18, I applied for a transfer for a dream job on the engines, only to find out my eyesight was not up to the required standard.

Doomed to stay on the less glamorous goods section I decided to drive railway lorries instead of steam engines. I passed my driving test in 1966 in a articulated Scammell Scarab following a month's intensive training at the railway driving school, based in the former Sutton Park Station. In 1968 the goods departments of our railways became National Carriers Limited,(N.C.L.) and later joined with British Road Services and Pickfords, becoming the first part of the railways to be sold into private ownership. Later still the company became Lynx Express and by the time I retired in 2010, after 48 years' service (44 as a driver), it had been taken over by the American company U.P.S.

Alan J Hunt,

63 Bridge Street,

West Bromwich, B70 9HW.

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